Accounts of trying to gets bats out of house

Over the years, Alek Komarnitsky has has to chase nine bats out of his house. He's documented each encounter (with photos) on his website.
200710031048 As of July 27th, 2006 I have had nine "encounters" with bats in my house the last five years ... and the score so far is "Alek-9, Bats-0" ... although 7 of the bats were "returned" back outside ... so it's possible I've had some repeat visitors. I wish I knew why/where these guys are coming from, but I really wish those pesky critters would stay outside and eat the bugs. BTW, if you have bats in your house, the first thing you should do is go get your digital camera (like I do! ;-) ... and then close the doors so they are confined to that room - then deal with 'em!

Previously on Boing Boing:
Alek Komarnitsky's tele-operated Christmas light display
Hoax Christmas Lights Webcam up for charity auction
Peach wasps devouring their namesake fruit


  1. I think those bats are pretty cute, though a couple of them looked pretty ill. By the way- bats do NOT want to fly into your hair like some people like to think, and when they make those little scary snarly faces, often they are just “sonaring” you, not getting ready to attack.

  2. $10 says this guy has a colony of them in his attic.

    Next time you’re throwing animals out the window, wrap ’em up in that cheesy elephant rug!

  3. Once had a colony of them in my attic, they can squish themselves to the thickness of about a dime and got through the tiniest crack in the attic door, it was crazy! One of them we had to make a DIY giant flyswatter by duct taping a window screen to the end of a broom. It was the only way we could trap him to get him out of there, but worked quite handily. Red Green would’ve been proud.

  4. My husband came up with a solution that worked for us when we lived in apartment with a bat problem.

    1. Open door to outside and prop open the screen door.
    2. Hold a large sheet up high, stretched out between the two of us.
    3. Use sheet as a radar wall and “herd” the bat toward the open door.

    Scariest part? Peeking over the sheet to see if the bat was gone, only to have it dive toward me.

    “Shields up! Shields UP!!”

  5. This brings back so many memories. My grandfather has an old house in the mountains of Puerto Rico. When he bought it, it was a house that had burned down so he rebuilt it. Half of the house is wood, the other half is concrete. For the top half, he left the burnt wood in place and it made it look pretty cool. The thing is, the ceiling was made up of zinc metal sheets, that are shaped like a soundwave, so bats had a tendency of crawling in between the sheets and the burnt wood and forming colonies.

    One day, when I was living with my grandfather after graduating college and looking for a job, we decided to get rid of all of them. So we put shirts over our heads, like ninjas and got a trusty vacuum cleaner and started dismantling the bathroom walls. As soon as we removed the wood covering the walls, bats started flying around like crazy. I was below my grandfather, vacuum in hand sucking them up.

    How I wish I had a video camera with me that day. Imagine a 70 year old and a 20 year old, dressed up as ninjas (so as to not breathe the guano), my grandfather with a hammer, me with the vacuum, sucking up bats. I guess we could’ve called ourselves the Ninja BatBusters or something.

    I love that house… :(

  6. Don’t fear the bat!!
    Bats are wonderful creatures – although, as when handling any wild animal, it’s always prudent to deal with them carefully.

    Here’s a ton of bat info, including how to deal with bats in your house –

    On this site you can also buy your neighborhood bats a house of their very own, or, if you find yourself intrigued after reading about the wonderful world of bats – sign up for their adopt a bat program.

  7. DaveX: I had checked the attic several times and had not seen a colony up there. However, the meshing over one of the attic vents was “open” … so I suspect the method of entry was through there to the attic … and then through the crawl space entrance. I took care of the later as described here:
    and since then, have not had any “visitors”

    Also, a few months ago I added additional meshing to the attic vents … and in the process, did a thorough sweep of the attic (not easy, since blown insulation). I did find one dead bat.

    PA: Good idea on the sheets. However, if you have high ceilings, that doesn’t work well as they just swoop over the top of ’em. As noted on the main page, I used window screens as my “SHIELDS UP!” – these have the advantage of being able to see through ’em

    SteveM/Tovi: Good link/story!

    BTW, bats are good – they eat bugs. But especially as a father of two kids, I really don’t want ’em in the house.

  8. HA!

    People think I’m lying when I tell them I once evicted a bat with a shoe box and a file folder.

    Now I have someone else’s substantiation that the technique works!

    Do I get bonus points considering that mine was awake and flying around? (Luckily, it landed within arm’s reach at a crucial moment.)

  9. At the end of last August, I discovered a bat flying around /my/ home. Half-asleep, I reached out… and grabbed it in mid-air. Its teeth happened to touch my skin, so my local public health system told me I had to get the full series of rabies shots, just to be safe. I can’t donate blood for a year, but I guess my immune system is ready for any other bats that try to sneak in…

    More details at , if anyone’s curious.

  10. My cat Dashiell caught a bat, then promptly let it loose in the house. I heard the cat flap, then squeaking, then saw something furry in his mouth and *poot* he spit it out. I was thinking mouse, so when it flew, I ran screaming “It’s a BAT! It’s a bat!” Of course Dashiell beat me outside. Opened a window and the little guy left. No more cat flap for us!

  11. My wife and I moved into our first house on August 1, 1989. Our first child was born on August 5 and we had our first bat visit on August 11.

    For some reason, we had a bat show up in our house in early August for 3 out of the first 5 years we lived there. We’ve long since moved, but still celebrate Bat Day on August 11!

  12. I evicted a bat from a clients basement, when I was over helping her sort out her computer. A wee little thing, about the size of my palm. I just popped a thick towel over his head, bundled him up, and carried him outside. I unwrapped him and he clung to the towel for a second while he got his bearings, and then flew off.

    I suppose it helps that I’ve handled gerbils, hamsters and rats before, and think they’re all adorable. If you’re nervous of them, or aren’t familiar with handling small fragile rodent creatures that want to escape, then the box/newspaper or box/cardboard technique is probably best.

    I’m not sure that I recommend tossing them out the second floor window… You could just put them down with the cardboard on top, box underneath, and then poke the cardboard off with a broom (or let the bat knock the cardboard off itself if as you flee inside, if it seems active enough).

  13. I live in an apartment building in ontario, canada, that has a bat infestation – significantly unfun. And here’s the thing – as much as i like the vacuum idea, you can’t kill bats around here. They’re a protected species.

    And now my cats have taken out two of them. Yes, really. They sleep in an enclosed area in my apartment building, which apparently still had an open access to a pipe (hole in drywall) and they were flying in there.

    There is nothing, NOTHING like waking up to find a dead bat lying face down, wings spread, in between you and the loo.

  14. “bats are good – they eat bugs.”

    Oh, yes but that’s not all – they also pollenate the agave plant – from which we get Tequila.

    When I think of all those lost weekends in Tiquana that wouldn’t have been possible with the bat…….

  15. A bit o’ public health info I learned recently/colorfully & am trying to share: If you think you or your cat (or your catamite, whatever) might have been bitten by a bat, KEEP THAT BAT and bring it to the hospital. If you’ve into contact with bat blood (see below) and you bring the bat into the ER, they can test the bat for rabies — if it’s not rabid (it probably wasn’t if it was flying), you get one shot & go home. If you don’t have the bat with you they’ll assume you’ve been infected and give you the whole course of rabies shots — 8 immediately and 4 or 5 more over the following weeks. Those shots are no picnic.

    A few months ago my cat woke me up in the middle of the night by pulling a bat apart *on my chest*. There was blood on the sheets, on me, on the wall, the poor blighter was still sort of flapping and screeching, my cat was amped up some kind of protective bloodlust… not the very worst way I’ve ever woken up, but close. After subduing the bat I pitched what was left of it in the bushes behind my house. When I got to the office some epidemiologists I work with told me to get the bat & go to the hospital right away. The bat was gone, of course, so at the ER I got the full course of shots: ouch times eight. Rabies is just about 100% fatal, so I was happy to err on the side of caution.

    I adore bats and yes, they’re still my friends. But I now keep a butterfly net under the bed to avoid future bat-bogey hexing.

  16. Yeah, yeah, yeah, bat’s eat bugs and pollinate agave, and “fertilize” attics everywhere. They also carry rabies (in the famous case of the girl “cured” of rabies by being put in a coma, her rabies was inflicted by a bat which I believe just scratched her; she had no idea at the time, and so her rabies progressed to where vaccination was no longer viable).

    When I go running, usually at dusk this time of year, I have bats swooping down near me when I run through the local arboretum. It freaks me out, and the adrenaline rush pushes me to run harder. That’s about the best thing I can say about bats.

  17. Apparently this guy doesn’t own a fishing net. That’s what I’ve always done. Of course I did catch one in a mouse trap once.

  18. I’m not sure what the laws are where this happened, including all the comments, but I believe in some places that it is actually against the law to disturb bats like this. In some areas they are a protected species and if you have a nest in your home you need to have a professional deal with it and relocate them somewhere as not to harm them. Just something to think about…

  19. I have a bat-and-hair story from about 15 years ago:

    I was working late (and alone) at the office. It had been raining very heavily and I went out to the balcony to see if it had stopped — and this black shape flapped out of the darkness and landed just above my ear.

    I carefully got the bat off and rushed it into the office — it bit me all the way — and popped it into a plastic carrier bag. I admired its attractive doggy face and considered for a while whether I should take it home with me. Nah.

    So I released it. I wish I could say I held it in my hand until it decided to leave, but it was more like “I put it on the floor because I didn’t want to get bitten again, and then it flew away”.

    I hope it survived the experience. After all, I did.

  20. I had to deal with a bat in our townhouse a few years ago. Here’s documentation of removal attempt 2/3:

    It’s a LONG story, so I’ll cut the many details:

    This was its second appearance. (We’d ejected it the day before.) This time I had opened the door to my room, and it flew down the hallway at me, causing me to fall backwards back into my room, shutting the door. There was a long standoff until I left my room again, subdued it with a flying pillow, and it crawled under my door at which point I caught it with a blanket.

    It came back the next day. We had a professional come. He took it out of town so it couldn’t find its way back.

  21. #15: “There is nothing, NOTHING like waking up to find a dead bat lying face down, wings spread, in between you and the loo.”

    I have woken up to find a live bat treading water *in* the loo!

    At the rustic summer place where this occurred, bats flying around bedrooms is a not infrequent occurrence, and they are generally dealt with with tennis rackets. Surprisingly, this does not appear to do permanent damage; the bat falls to the ground, but is apparently just stunned. You want to scoop it out the door quickly, as it will be up and flying again shortly.

  22. aww a bat came into my bedroom while i was sleeping at my grandmas house. didn’t know what it was as obviously everything was a little dark and i was curled up in bed scared of whatever the hell was making weird noises in my bedroom. but it was making really nice cat like purring noises, you’d think it would squeak or something but it just purred. eventually got the courage to run out and get my mum / gran to deal with it. i think it just flew out the window after a bit, no fancy golf ball stick things needed.

  23. I am so glad I caught this post. I just NOW caught a snake in the house. My kids (who are gone at the moment) were terrified, so I figured I’d better keep it in a jar til they saw it, or else they’d never believe I got it. Now, thanks to this reminder, I will get a photo before it gets dark.

  24. additional bonus public health fact:

    apparently, you’re supposed to go in for rabies shots if you just HAVE a bat in your house.

    most rabies cases are from people that were bitten by rabid bats in their sleep. they don’t even know!

  25. if, if.
    if all else fails, if killing bats is legal where you are, and if you don’t mind killing bats, then
    it does work to whack it with a fishing pole or similar. you can swing it fast, it is so thin they can’t see or sonar it coming. don’t touch the carcass.

    (and before you be making cruelty accusations, i every day now save the lives of at least two lizards caught inside where there are no mosquitoes for them to eat.)

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